The Department of Tourism participated in the 33rd Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Annual Convention, which commenced from September 7 and will conclude on September 10, 2017 at Mayfair Convention Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The business-to-business event focussed on re-inventing tourism sector in India with the theme ‘Indian Tourism – Time to reinvent ourselves’.
Over 1200 delegates from different states and other countries participated in the IATO convention. Newly sworn-in Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam inaugurated the Convention and inspected the J&K’s stall there. He also had an interaction with the tour operators from the State.
During the convention, the Department gave many presentations highlighting State’s rich tourism potential.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah, who also participated in the convention, gave an overall picture of the State’s tourism potential. The presentation included recently released short drone videos on different destinations, received an overwhelming response and drew a huge number of delegates to the convention centre.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director tourism Kashmir said Jammu and Kashmir has no match in beauty and hospitality. He said besides having breathtaking landscape, diverse culture, unique art and craft, Kashmir is also known for hospitality. He said that J&K is a complete package as it offers diverse culture, religion, landscape.
He said small things are blown out of the proportion by some section of media which creates negative perception among the travellers regarding the Kashmir.
“But when tourists visit Kashmir, they get a totally different situation here and enjoy warmth and love from the locals. They feel safer in Kashmir than in other parts of the country,” he added.
Director Tourism also highlighted the recently held Gurez festivals and adventure activities like river rafting in Kashmir. He said the Department has embarked on multipronged campaigns by releasing short promotional videos, participating in road shows and seminars and using social media to promote the J&K’s tourism potential to offset negative perception about Kashmir.
He also assured the delegates that proper infrastructure is being put in place in the state for the comfortable stay of the tourists.
Mahmood A Shah also had separate interactions with leading tour operators from the country and urged them to promote Kashmir.
Pertinently, IATO Conventions are an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their exciting and diverse range of destinations, conference and incentive venues.